What a year it has been so far. Taking that step to not have a full time job was a risk but one that has paid off. I love my cycling and the places it is taking me. I am so thankful for the support in helping me become a top athlete
Last time I wrote a post I was on such a high from finishing a XCO World Cup without being lapped and starting to feel the progression in my training. Unfortunately in Albstadt my race had the opposite emotions. I got myself way too worked up and stressed to perform that when the race gun went off I had no leg to race and already felt drained. It was a hard learning curve but one that has helped me for the rest of the season.
After spending an amazing week training in Mastrils, Switzerland, the home village to my teammate Martin Gujan I felt revived and motivated for the BMC Racing Cup in Gränichen. Knowing the course from the previous year I was comfortable with the lines and pushed felt confident to push myself past my limits. I managed not to get worked up and stayed relaxed for the race. Finishing 22nd and not being lapped was a step in the right direction. Was great that Paul made a special trip out to help us which eliminated the stress of trying to find someone. I was happy to end my first 2015 overseas trip on a high and had a new sense of energy for racing.
After the long month of racing I had some time to rest back home and focus on my technical skills at the Cascades course. It was great to spend time with family. Feeling fired up from my overseas trip and knowing the last SA Cup was really important race for selections I focused on racing against time. Sadly Mariske couldn’t race due to crashing in practice. Hopefully this is her last bit of bad luck. Racing is not the same without her.
The support from the SA CUP was fantastic. I felt I had a new set of racing legs. Not only was I happy with the win but also my time relative to the Elite Men was shorter.
The weekend after the SA CUP was the 3rd XCO World Cup in Lenzerhiede where I got to spend a week in the mountains, My favourite place. Race lead up was great. Starting to get a rhythm of things. Even managed to do some filming with Anna 🙂 (Link to the film for Spiuk). There were less women on the start line which made it less stressful and I had a better seeding. Unfortunately I slipped to the back on the start due to not being able to cleat in but managed to make up places again on the climb. The first 2 laps were tough with all the dust but once the field spread out I found a rhythm and started passing riders. Sadly I was just a little too slow and got pulled off with 1 lap to go but felt since the front ladies hadn’t caught us they could have let us through. We can have all these if only but this is racing and the rules are the rules.
From a super race in Lenzerheide I was on a high ready for SA Champs. After all the racing being away having such a big race in my ‘backyard’ was a nice change but one I found I had to be more disciplined for. Being able to practice the course helped especially since I was feeling nervous on some of the a-lines. Despite Heiko being injured he came out on foot every time I went out to help me overcome my fears. It was great to even have the option between my Silverback SBC 3.0 Hard tail and my Silverback SBC 1.0 Full Suspension. Due to racing on my hard tail more I was happier on the bike and felt it was better for the climbing. Not only was it the best race preparation for me on the bike but also off the bike. I am usually resistant to going to a psychologist but when Cherri Forsyth offered to give me a mental coaching session I didn’t hesitate due to feeling the pressure of SA Champs. I can’t believe I didn’t do this before. It really helped me keep calmer and focused.
Never thought that in 2012 when I did my first SA XCO Champs that I would become the SA Champ. It was a goal but one I thought would take longer. Big thanks to Stephen van der Walt who believed in me when I was still an amateur. Another Big thanks goes to John Wakefield who has helped me transform my racing within a year.